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A Step-by-Step Guide to Handling a Broken Tooth in Yakima

HealthA Step-by-Step Guide to Handling a Broken Tooth in...

With 300 days of sun per year, Yakima is an ideal location in the Pacific Northwest to get outside and be active. After all, it’s one of the only places you can ski, bike, hike, and golf on the same day! But with all this activity comes a greater likelihood of a dental injury, like a broken tooth. Luckily, a local dentist in Yakima can help fix this dental issue quickly and professionally. Take these five steps to ensure the best and speediest possible care.

1. Gather any pieces of the broken tooth and store them safely.

In the aftermath of an injury, you may not be thinking clearly. But it’s important that you do your best to locate any broken pieces of your tooth to give the dentist the best chance of reattaching them. In an ideal situation, you’d have access to supplies to wrap the tooth in a paper towel and store it in a container with milk or salt water. But if you’ve injured the tooth outdoors, you may not have the luxury of doing so. In any case, do your best to get broken pieces to the dentist with you.

2. Locate a local dentist and call ahead.

In an emergency, like a sudden broken tooth, it’s best to find a dentist and warn them that you’re on the way. Calling ahead is especially helpful if you’ve been injured during the weekend or in the evening when not all dentist’s offices are staffed for emergency procedures. Depending on the office, you may also be able to schedule and check in for an appointment online.

3. Rinse the surrounding teeth if possible.

Depending on where the break happened, you may not have access to a source of clean, warm water. If you do, rinse gently to help remove dirt and other potentially infectious debris from the area. If not, use the saliva in your mouth to clean the area around the tooth. A cold compress can also help keep swelling down as you make your way to get treatment.

4. Avoid eating anything else.

Depending on the severity of the broken tooth, eating and chewing might be the furthest thing from your mind. Until a dental professional has assessed you, do your best to avoid eating as it could introduce unnecessary risk. If you absolutely must eat, choose soft foods and chew with the opposite side of your mouth from where the break occurred.

5. Get treatment and care instructions.

Once you arrive at the dentist, they can assess the severity of your broken tooth and offer treatment options. If they discover it’s only a minor tooth chip, your dentist might decide a tooth filling is the best solution. Often, they can do this on the same day. However, if you have a more serious injury, you might need a crown or root canal, which could require multiple appointments. No matter the outcome, it’s critical that you follow any after-care instructions and attend follow-up appointments as necessary.

The bottom line

Whether you’re a local enjoying outdoor activities on a weekend afternoon or a tourist scoping out the sights of the Yakima Valley, a broken tooth can happen anywhere. Understanding these steps can help you feel more prepared if you or someone you love experiences a dental emergency.

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